The Angle

The Angle: The Barriers Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on immigration enforcement, beta blockers, and student debt.

How injustice worsens: Horrific stories continue to stream in from the Southern border, where Customs and Border Protection is detaining hundreds of migrant children, separated from their families, in sickening conditions. As concerned citizens have voiced outrage at the Trump administration, activists have also pointed out that much of this isn’t new—the Obama administration also had infamously brutal immigration policies. Bea Bischoff notes the differences between immigration enforcement under Obama and Trump, as well as the reason why Trump’s methods are so much crueler.

The miracle: This week’s cover story takes a hard look at beta blockers, pills technically designed to treat chest pain and arrhythmia but widely utilized to fight off nerves. Shannon Palus writes about why she started taking them, why she stopped, and how the whole experience has informed her healthy skepticism of new startups promising unfettered access to the medication.

School of hard knocks: What is to be done about America’s student debt crisis? If you’re Bernie Sanders, you’d like to get rid of the whole dang thing (as in, all outstanding debt). That’s noble and ambitious, but as Jordan Weissmann writes, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. One reason for this is, as Weissmann likewise explains, we have no idea how much it would actually cost to forgive everyone’s student debt, because there are (surprise!) so many complicating factors at play in the whole conundrum.

Why the silence? Tens of millions of people around the world were displaced last year in regions of the Middle East and Central America as a result of long-running conflicts and sectarian tensions. But within the Horn of Africa, in a country that has recently seen some economic and political rejuvenation, there’s a new, surprising mass displacement catastrophe ongoing that has received little international attention. Joshua Keating goes into one of the biggest global crises that nobody is talking about.

For fun: The coolest thing that SpaceX just sent into the cosmos in a new rocket.

It’s not the ashes of 152 people, although that’s in there too,
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